Delhi Metro rejects Reliance Infrastructure notice

New Delhi, June 28 (IANS) Delhi Metro Friday rejected a notice issued by Reliance Infrastructure to stop operating the Airport Metro Express Line from Sunday, an official statement said Friday.

"Reliance Infrastructure-led Delhi Airport Metro Express Private Limited (DAMEPL) had sent a notice Thursday to Delhi Metro intimating that they would stop operating the Airport Line from Sunday night, which is been rejected," Sudhir Krishna, secretary, urban development ministry and chairman Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said in a statement.

The board of directors of Delhi Metro met and concluded that the notice was in violation of the concession agreement and the ongoing arbitration proceedings.

"The board decided to reject the notice and call upon them to continue the operations of the line in terms of the agreement. If, however, they do not do so, DMRC shall step in and operate the line in larger public interest," Krishna said.

Delhi Metro and DAMEPL have been at loggerheads over the corridor when some serious defects were found in the structure of the airport metro corridor. Operations on the Airport Metro Line were suspended July 8 last year and were restarted in January.

The urban development ministry had set up a committee comprising officials from the Indian Railways, Delhi Metro and Reliance Infrastructure to look into the nature of the defects.

Built at a cost of Rs.5,700 crore ($1.2 billion at the exchange rate then), public-private project, the DMRC was to carry out civil works of the airport project and a consortium led by Reliance Infrastructure was to operate the line for 30 years and share the revenue.

The Airport Metro, which ferries over 15,000 people daily on the 23 km network, 70 percent of those using the line are headed to the airport.

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